Encino-based Cyber-Rain, maker of what the company calls a “sprinkler controller with a brain,” recently introduced a new feature that gives users the ability to monitor and control landscape watering from the cloud. The Cyber-Rain controller works similar to, for example, a Rainbird or Orbit system, except an owner can control sprinklers, manually run valves, and check watering activity from a computer or through a free iPhone app.
In other words, instead of adjusting the watering schedule at the controller, an owner simply fires up the app and tells it what to do. Through the internet-enabled device, one could set a specific, zone-by-zone water schedule or use the Cyber-Rain Smart Sprinkling Wizard to get a custom watering schedule.
Cyber-Rain checks humidity, temperature, and weather forecasts and automatically adjusts watering based on that information. This smart feature enables more efficient use of water and up to 30-70% savings on landscape watering, according to Cyber-Rain. Plus, there’s no monthly fee for the weather data.
For users looking to be more precise, Cyber-Rain works with dry contact, two-wire interface rain sensors. Rain sensors override weather forecast information when installed. Also, certain models also work with flow sensors that can determine if something is wrong in the system.
Although PC-based models are offered online at Amazon.com, Cyber-Rain sells the cloud system with the basic 8-zone XCI Controller for $499.00 and the 8-zone XCI Pro Controller for $725.00. It’s pricey, but, depending on individual factors, an owner could pay for the system in water savings over a year or two.